Cambodia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday signed a cooperation agreement for projects aimed at building logistics infrastructure in the country, improving the water supply and enhancing farmer’s livelihoods in the Tonle Sap, with the development finance institution agreeing to disburse $180 million in loans.
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Economy and Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth and ADB’s country director Samiuela Tukuafu signed the loan agreement in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Mr Tukuafu said the first loan, for the sum of $50 million, will be used for a provincial water supply and sanitation project in the cities of Battambang, Kampong Cham, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap that seeks to boost access to purer water.
As part of the project, he explained, two water treatment plants and 40,000 piped connections will be built in Battambang and Kampong Cham, covering 90 percent of their population.
Battambang will also benefit from the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, while in Sihanoukville an existing plant will be expanded with 37 kilometres of sewer pipelines.
A septage waste management system will be built in Kampong Cham and a trunk sewer pipeline will be assembled in Siem Reap.
The second loan, worth $70 million, will go towards a road improvement project to make the transportation network in Cambodia safer, more efficient and disaster-resilient.
National roads in the provinces of Prey Veng, Siem Reap, and Svay Rieng will be repaired and upgraded, with 147 kilometres of flood prone sections being rehabilitated.
Finally, the Tonle Sap poverty reduction and smallholder development project will receive a $45.7 million loan and a $4.3 million grant from ADB, as well as a $10 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The project will provide farmers with training in climate-smart agriculture practices, increase availability and access to quality seeds of climate-resilient rice and other crops, enhance access to agricultural information and market data, and further develop the value chains of agricultural products.
“The finance will also tackle development initiatives that reflect the needs of local communities and address issues of low productivity, weak value chains, and high vulnerability to climate change, according to the agreement,” Mr Tukuafu said.
Mr Pornmoniroth said thus far ADB has disbursed $2.75 billion in loans and grants, including technical support to various governmental bodies.
Of those $2.75 billion, $2.30 billion are concessional loans for 98 different projects, and $455 million are grants supporting 49 projects.
“The cooperation financing of ADB and the Japanese government will contribute to the development of Cambodia and the reduction of poverty. It will also contribute to boosting economic growth and the livelihoods of Cambodian people,” he said.
“Cambodia will use the funds with effectiveness, transparency and responsibility to build trust from Cambodian people and development partners and to continue strengthening the close cooperation between the Cambodian government, ADB and Japan,” he added.